Government policy and public inquiries

A detailed analysis of the extent to which Government policy issues may legitimately be excluded from the ambit of local inquiries has been given by the High Court in R v Secretary of State for Transport ex parte Gwent County Council ((1986) 2 All E R 18).

The seminal 1980 House of Lords decision in the Bushell case, where objectors were held to have no right to cross-examine government witnesses on traffic forecasting methodology, left open many questions in what is a difficult and controversial area of administrative law. Mr Justice Webster's judgment in the present case tackles a number of these directly, providing some bold answers with possibly far-reaching implications.

The case arose

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